Sunday, January 25, 2015

12 under 20: Hidden Crush Cabernet and Bree Riesling

Happy New Year, readers!

I hope that thus far 2015 is treating everyone very well. As my first wine post of 2015, I would like to share two wines I discovered over the December holiday (man, I do need to get back to the art side of things sometime...). Though these were first time trials, I think these could easily become classified as "go-to" wines.

Hidden Crush Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 - Madera, CA - Avg. $15/bottle
This. Wine.

I discovered this wine while up in Cleveland, OH visiting my grandparents. Our waitress recommended it between two cabs at dinner one night and thence forth, I have been in love. I enjoyed this wine so fantastically that it pained me to turn down another glass (Have to be a responsible driver though).

I am determined to find this wine again and buy many, many bottles. Why, you ask? Easy. This is my perfect cab: It was medium-bodied,  completely red-fruit forward, soft oak, and superficially, I love the bottle design. There was a hint of vanilla on the finish that left a soft, delicate sweetness in contrast to the dash of spice. It was an excellent dichotomy of flavors that left nothing to be desired for me.

Obviously, on the regular I would recommend pairing this kind of wine with grilled burgers or pasta with tomato sauce. I actually had it with a grilled salmon salad that night and thought it was perfectly lovely, so I have to feel this is a versatile pairing wine! Hidden Crush also produces a Chardonnay so be on the look out for that review (if I can find it) down the road!

Bree Riesling 2012 - Qualitswein, Germany - Approx. $12/bottle
A friend gave us this wine as a Christmas gift and I have to say, it surprised me. When I first opened the bottle (such an sleek, modern design...It looks more like a liquor bottle than a wine bottle), I did not immediately smell or taste the sweetness characteristic of most rieslings I have tried. It was very dry to me initially, which I now know is not atypical of German rieslings. I wasn't sure how I felt about it after the first glass, but it was in the following glasses (on other nights, kids) that I realized its true value.

This wine has an light nose of green apple to me. The dry sweetness comes forward with crisp, acidic fruit notes of honeydew melon and a mellow undertone of slate. I think I get a hint of peach from it as well. If you prefer softer white wines (sweet, but not lingering toothache sweet), this would be a great wine for you.

This wine I think absolutely comes alive when paired with foods. We enjoyed it with crock-pot chicken fajitas and with Patak's Mango Curry chicken. This would be a great wine to pair with any Thai or Indian dish, roast turkey, lemon baked rainbow trout, or probably with that salmon salad I had had the Hidden Crush with!

My friends, which wines did you enjoy over the holidays? Which "go-to" wines would you recommend for us to try?